The Marx Brothers Find A Fourth
By William Warren
In an ordinary news week, a story about a brewing military coup in one of America's closest neighboring countries would have garnered more attention. However, from Argentinean mistresses to Metro tragedies to pop-star deaths, the past seven days have been anything but an ordinary news week.
While it may have been a chaotic news week in the United States, however in Honduras the week was not merely chaotic, it was historic. And by the time it reached its denouncement, the brave people of that tiny nation had put a Marxist dictator out to pasture – and Barack Obama and his minions shame.
It all started when President Manuel Zelaya, Honduras' resident Marxist leader, decided that now was the perfect time to consolidate his authority. Taking notes from Cuba's Castro, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, Ecuador's Rafael Correa and Bolivia's Evo Morales, Zelaya announced plans to hold a referendum to eliminate presidential term limits and pave the way towards installing himself as “President for Life.” Mr. Obama, for his part, stood idly by, smiling broadly.
Zelaya's move to gut the Constitution and seize power, however, upset some people—including the nation's military leaders, the Supreme Court, the Legislature, his own Attorney General, and his entire political party. To name a few.
After the top commander of the military said the nation's armed forces would never support such a brazen power grab, Zelaya simply fired him. In response, the chiefs of the army, navy, and air force promptly resigned to show their solidarity for their ousted commanding officer – not to mention their esteem for the Honduran Constitution, which explicitly forbids toying with term limits.
The Supreme Court then voiced its ire over Zelaya's move by reinstating the ousted General, and the Attorney General followed suit by calling for Zelaya's removal from office. Meanwhile, hundreds of troops were deployed in the capital city of Tegucigalpa to “prevent disturbances by supporters of Zelaya.”
Finally, on Sunday, when the strong arm dictator still refused to budge, the people of Honduras and their military took action to uphold the Constitution and Zelaya was arrested. He is now living in exile in Costa Rica (where he can presumably live for as long a term as he likes), and the Honduran Supreme Court has duly sworn in a new leader.
Even though Zelaya was gutting the constitution and consolidating dictatorial power, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (much like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro) have condemned the move by the Honduran people to remove their corrupt President. And this leaves more than a few pundits conjecturing as to whether such callousness betrays the Obama Administration's deep-seated feelings towards individual freedom and constitutional checks and balances.
The sad fact is, gutting constitutions and consolidating power has been a hallmark among all leftwing regimes, especially in Latin America. And in each case – whether in Nicaragua, Bolivia, or Venezuela – Barack Obama has shamelessly sided with the Marxist dictators.
Manuel Zelaya is merely the latest in a long line of leftist leaders embracing this power-hungry modus-operandi, and if the question of whether or not he becomes Honduras' Hugo Chavez—i.e., Leader for Life—is still up in the air, it is only because of the Obama Administration's refusal to support the deposed dictators legitimate replacement.
Perhaps what makes the Obama Administration support of Latin American dictators so decidedly chilling is that those he coddles seem so closely aligned to his own megalomaniacal socialistic proclivities. With recent moves to make the Federal Reserve the master over all the private banks, to socialized health care, and to creating a “cap and tax” system whereby the government claims ownership of pollution and sells it back to the companies, it is easy to see why the Obama Administration shows such an affinity for those who pursue similar policies south of the border.
While it may look different from Zelaya's bid to be “Leader-for-Life”, the end result is the same: consolidation of power. As the power-grabbing extraordinaire himself, Hugo Chavez, said of Obama earlier this month:
“Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right.”
Chavez's words prove anew the old saw: “Many a truth is said in jest.” Barack Obama is a leader unlike any other in American history—one whose actions incite the very jealousy of Latin America's most leftwing autocrats.
Simply put, leftwing politics is intrinsically linked to power consolidation. And one is left to wonder: could it be that Latin America's Marx Brothers -- Manuel Zelaya, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro -- have finally found a fourth?
William Warren is a Contributing Editor of ALG News Bureau.